Friday, May 22, 2015

freud's last session | about c.s. lewis

In FREUD'S LAST SESSION, we meet C.S. Lewis before he was, well, C.S. Lewis.  He was the same man, to be sure, but he had yet to write or publish any of the books that made him famous.  Here's some of what was to come for Lewis.

CS Lewis is known today as one of Christianity’s greatest defenders, as his reputation primarily comes from his non-fiction Christian apologetic literature (Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain) as well as The Chronicles of Narnia, commonly seen as an allegory for the Christian faith.

Lewis was, however, a strong atheist for most of his life. Raised in a religious family, he rejected God and faith at the age of 15. It wasn’t until his adult years that he began to question his resolve, due to a combination of the writings of GK Chesterton and his friendship with JRR Tolkien, a Catholic.

It wasn’t until 1931 that Lewis converted to Christianity. The decision was specifically made while riding in the sidecar of his brother’s motorcycle, on the way to the zoo, before he had published many works.

While none of the philosophies in Lewis’ writing are necessarily new, he popularized several concepts in his fierce attempts to create logical arguments for Christian faith:

Lewis’ Trilemma is the name given to the notion that Jesus cannot simply have been a great human teacher. Due to the claims he made, he must be either a madman, an evil liar, or actually the Son of God.

The concept of a universal morality came up frequently in his writing as well. Both in his fictional stories and non-fiction, he espouses a moral code that everyone knows they should be following. He claimed that there people know what the moral law is and when they break it, as well as the fact that there must be someone or something behind these principles.

Lewis’ view of the afterlife differed from most as well. In works like The Great Divorce he suggests hell to be a place that people can leave at any time – if they are willing to give up the security of isolation and other defenses they have created for themselves.

Since his death, CS Lewis has continued to attract a devoted following, both of his Christian apologetics and fictional stories.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

jessie nominations 2015

The nominations for the 2015 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards were announced yesterday and Pacific Theatre received 11 nominations!  Congratulations to the artists, listed below.  We are so grateful to the jury, board, and volunteers of the Jessies for bringing the awards together and for recognizing the work of our astoundingly talented and hardworking artists!  And of course, congratulations to everyone else in this incredible industry for their nominations.  We can't wait to celebrate on June 22 at the awards!


Carl Kennedy - Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Tom Pickett - Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Lauchlin Johnston - Outstanding Lighting Design
Drew Facey - Outstanding Set Design
Amy McDougall - Outstanding Costume Design
Jeff Tymoschuk - Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition
Anthony F. Ingram - Outstanding Direction
Outstanding Production


Robert Salvador - Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role


Robert Salvador - Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Jeff Tymoschuk - Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

freud's last session | about sigmund freud

As the title character of FREUD'S LAST SESSION, Sigmund Freud is an iconic figure of the 20th century.  An Austrian doctor known as the Father of Psychoanalysis, he was the first to suggest treating mental illness by means of conversation between doctor and patient.  Here is some more background information about Freud and his theories.

Freudian therapy involved the patient lying on a couch (now famous) and speaking freely about their symptoms and thoughts. He developed exercises such as free association to help uncover hidden patterns causing distress.

Notable Theories:

The Subconscious: in the early 1900’s, Freud developed a model for the mind where only a small part of it is known (the conscious mind) and the rest is unconscious, or unaware, using the comparison of an iceberg. From this he developed concepts of the id, ego, and supergo.

Psychosexual Stages: one of his more controversial theories, tracing sexual development of a person from infancy forward, including his famous Oedipus Complex. Sexual pleasure, for Freud, was a broader term meant to include all pleasure. He postulated that people seek pleasure from different objects throughout their lives, and have a variety of behavioural and psychological problems based on where their development was stunted.

Dream Analysis: considering sleep to be a time when the ego’s defenses are lowered, he believed that a person’s unconscious desires and neuroses came through in dreams.

Freud’s theories are considered controversial within the behavioural sciences. Scientifically his methods were suspect as he employed case studies through which he generalized to the population as a whole. His theories as a whole came from study of himself and his patients. However, his theories have permeated culture as a whole, referenced regularly in art and entertainment to this day.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

freud's last session: chamberlain is due to make an announcement...

The historical context of Freud's Last Session is fascinating, set at the moment Britain declares war on Nazi Germany. Here's a video montage I put together, featuring a number of films set at precisely the same historical moment: 11:00 AM, Greenwich Mean Time, September 3, 1939. (Be sure and click on the arrow icon between "HD" and "vimeo" to watch it full screen.)

freud's last session | responses

"Ron Reed [gives a] bravura performance as Freud... Reed gives Freud some lovely twists and turns." • Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Plays

"My wife and I attended "Freud's Last Session" at Pacific Theatre in Vancouver on Saturday (May 2) and was, once again, overtaken by how masterful they are at selecting and producing live stage performances that can simultaneously entertain, educate and provoke one to ponder those deeper questions of life. ... Whether you are a skeptic, an agnostic or a fervent atheist (as was Freud and are other prominent individuals today) or are a Christian believer (as was C. S. Lewis and are many others today) you will find that this play will prod your foundational belief structures and stretch your mind into avenues of contemplation which may be foreign, or even frightening, for you... I am certain of two things: the actors (Evan Frayne and Ron Reed) give you a remarkable insight into the minds of both of these figures and you will not leave the theatre unchallenged." • Bob Quicke, Audience Response

"This Pacific Theatre production, under the direction of Morris Ertman, is intelligent, thought provoking and splendid in every respect – one of the best I’ve seen on this stage... Reed is absolutely outstanding in the role: slightly stooped, his clothes hanging a little loosely, fingers sometimes twitching, Reed is believably eighty-three and so believably in pain it’s gut-wrenching to watch... Evan Frayne, as Lewis, is in every respect equal to Reed’s Freud. As the younger, Oxford and Cambridge scholar who shows little humour (except for his laughter on the subject of flatulence) and even less humility, Frayne turns the moment of Freud’s paralysing attack of bone-wracking pain into one of such compassion, that it might bring tears to your eyes." • Jo Ledingham

"Who would have thought that a 65 minute play about an imagined conversation between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis could be as spell-binding as I found this show to be? I was enthralled." • Gillian Lockitch, Review from the House

"The acting in this production is strong. Evan Frayne makes an earnest Lewis, and Ron Reed a thoughtful, vulnerable Freud." • Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

"Pacific Theatre Artistic Director Ron Reed is once again transformed as the seemingly resolute Freud, finding the lows, the highs, and the humour of this intellectual man. Evan Frayne is sweetly openhearted and devout as the young writer." • David C. Jones, Vancouver Presents

"I love Freud and CS Lewis and this play does them both a great service. The set was surreal. The action unbelievably great. The writing was superb. This 'discussion' between giants was something I studied as I learned psychoanalysis a quarter century ago and it goes on today." • William Hay, Facebook Response

"Mark St. Germain doesn’t offer a definitive answer to divinity, or any conclusion to the existence of a hereafter. What the playwright does provide is excellent theatre." • John Jane, Review Vancouver

Thursday, May 14, 2015

may 12-16 | fool for love | clockwork theatre

Be the first to see Clockwork Theatre make their debut onto the Vancouver scene with FOOL FOR LOVE. Starring PT regular Kaitlin Williams (THE FOREIGNER, DOUBT, GODSPELL, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE) and produced by Phil Miguel (GREAT DIVORCE and PT Technical Director).

Fool For Love by Sam Shepard
Presented by Clockwork Theatre
May 12th – 16th, 2015 | 8pm Evening Performances, $15

As Eddie tries to convince on-again-off-again lover, May, to abandon the dreary desert motel she has been living in to run away with him, the two “fools” re-enter their vicious cycle of love/hate, struggling to know what’s right and what’s wrong for their forbidden romance.

**WARNING: Language, Violence, and Sexuality**

Featuring: Joel Butler (as Eddie); Patrick Dodd (as Martin); Steve James (as The Old Man); and Kaitlin Williams (as May)

Directed by: Becky MacDormand
Set and Lighting Design by: Phil Miguel

Presented at the Havana Theatre
1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3X4

*E-mail to reserve your tickets. Click here for the Facebook event.